The wonderful odyssey of publishing to Apple Books (possible issue with hyperlinks creation)

Engaged ,
Feb 02, 2022 Feb 02, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Dear all,

I have a possibly interesting issue to show. 

I use InDesign to create my sheet music editions that I then publish here. I create the musical score in Avid Sibelius, export it to PDF, then write the text in Word, format it, then build everything in InDesign (17.x for today's example). Once ready, I export it to PDF for those services that need a PDF and to EPUB for—sigh—Apple Books. 

Leaving out the fact that most of the time any EPUB that I export is always containing images of more than 4 million pixels (which I normally solve by lowering resolution to 150ppi), the issue today was this one: 

Screenshot 2022-02-02 at 11.48.01.png

Not understanding what this meant I asked Apple for help, they replied:     

You encountered this upload error because one of the links in your book is missing text, refers to a reference that doesn’t exist, or is not formatted correctly.
To resolve, the value of attribute “src” must be a URL.
Not knowing what the "src" attribute was I dived into the INDD and found the only four pieces of text that contained URLs. After a lot of testing I found out that my accidental mistake was to select the region of text that was to become a hyperlink and choose the option "New Hyperlink from URL" (which looked the more logical to me). This created a link that looked like this: "http://<selectedText>" where selectedText would be the region of text. Even hitting Cmd-Z to undo, selecting again, choosing "New Hyperlink" and pasting in the correct URL, left me with this: 
Screenshot 2022-02-02 at 21.15.42.png
The sheer fact that this URL was in this list made the EPUB validation check of authors.apple.com go crazy with error messages, while it made outright crash the iTunes Producer app on my Mac! 
Removing all links from the document, exporting to EPUB, and validating succeeded, but I need those links and if I try to create them again, that list appears as it was before. 
I wonder if any of you has any experience with publishing on Apple Books and would be so kind to share some of his knowledge. In any case, my questions are:
  1. How can I remove that faulty hyperlink short of recreating the INDD from scratch?
  2. What is the best way to create a hyperlink to a web URL starting from a selected region of text? 

Bottom line: for the curious, the only way I could publish this to Apple Books was the following ridiculous procedure:

  1. Export PDF from InDesign
  2. Open PDF in Acrobat and export each page as separate PDF
  3. Open Pages and create new Blank document
  4. Import each page, one by one, and resize it to fit the page, into the Pages document
  5. Forsake the idea of having bookmarks and ToC in such a Pages document without altering your original design
  6. Upload to Apple Books and enjoy! 

 

TOPICS
Bug , EPUB , How to , Publish online

Views

738

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct answer

Guide , Feb 03, 2022 Feb 03, 2022
You are aware that unused hyperlinks may be deleted by opening the Hyperlinks panel, and selecting the Delete Unused Destinations menu entry in the panel menu? That should fix that problem. InDesign keeps the previously created URLs just in case those are referenced by other links later. So you need to clear these unused destinations.Secondly, regarding your image resolution issues. I checked your books previews, and the resolution of those score page images is far too high: 4959 by 7017 px! Equ...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

Since there is no such thing as a perfect, packaged ebook creator — if you ignore PDF — then the only way to get to "perfect" ebooks (beyond the very simplest ones) is to understand the component tech. You can go over into the Build-A-Book side of things, using EPUB tools that access and manage the structure, but even there you'll need a good understanding of XML, X/HTML and CSS.

 

I prefer to let the publication tools do their job and then tweak the result. Using CSS (with the necessary understanding of how it works in HTML, without necessarily mastering the latter) has proven to be the most efficient path for me. (But then, I do have a high mastery of web technologies, so I admit some preferential bias may be at work.)

 

I suggest, most 'umbly, that my new(ish) book is the best text and guide to the latter approach, and isn't without some CSS basics. The only other choice I know of is to sort out the vast pile of stuff on the web, of which a great deal is outdated but doesn't say so, and much of the rest takes... rather individualized approaches. But the best (free) place to learn HTML and CSS is, IMVHO, W3schools, at https://www.w3schools.com/ . I use it frequently for technical reference.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Engaged ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Is it known why InDesign adds these PNG files (yes, fixed EPUB)? Do they serve any purpose at all? Any way to avoid their creation or to reduce their sizes without unpacking EPUB > reducing file-size > repacking with eCanCrusher or other apps?  

Besides, I have also noticed that one of these files contains bullets from a bullet-list, and being the symbol a bit to the left of the column margin, it gets cut out in the EPUB (but not in the PDF). 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

As Rayek has noted, ID's export to EPUB is... imperfect. Unfortunately, it's worse for FXL... but few notice because ID to Fixed EPUB docs tend to work very well out there in EPUB-reader land. They're just more bloated and complicated than necessary.

 

ID is much better at reflowable, especially if you master the techniques of getting there in multiple stages. To create an ID doc and expect it to "print" to EPUB without flaws is misguided, not because ID is flawed but because of all the issues with EPUB itself. Adobe chose one overall route, and it works well enough... but it's not "perfect."

 

As I've noted, I prefer to work in a high-end writing, eidting and publication tool and deal with format issues downstream. Many do it from the other end, taking writing and graphic elements and assembling it using "construction" tools. I guess it depends on whether you're the writer or the publisher, or which hat you think is dominant; I'm both, and prefer to work at books as an author or editor, not as a... Linotype operator. 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines